Democrats tap Liias for State Senate, look to replace him in House

Democratic precinct committee officers have nominated State Rep. Marko Liias to replace retired Democratic 21st District State Sen. Paull Shin and named state Hispanic Affairs Commission member Lillian Ortiz-Self as the leading candidate to replace Liias in the House of Representatives.

The actions came on votes of 21st District PCOs Saturday that PCOs from around Snohomish County ratified later in the day.

Under State law, the County Council must fill vacancies for partisan offices from a list of three candidates nominated by the party of the official vacating the office.

Since Liias was the only declared candidate for the Senate seat and was the unanimous choice of Democratic 21st District PCOs on the first ballot Saturday, the District PCOs held a second ballot and named Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson and Edmonds City Councilman Strom Peterson as co-second-and-third choices.

Both Gregerson and Peterson said after the vote that they fully support Liias and would not accept the appointment.

The County Council plans to meet Tuesday to make the appointment. If the Council does appoint Liias, the Democrats will have Ortiz-Self, retired labor union official Darrell Chapman and Edmonds School Board President Susan Phillips as nominees for the House position. District PCOs gave Ortiz-Self 16 votes to 11 for Chapman and 1 for Phillips.

Representatives of County Council members say that they don’t know when the Council would act on filling the potential vacancy for Liias’ House position.

The 21st District includes most of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett.

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